5 Simple Yoga Exercises To Do With Your Kids
Did you know children are born knowing how to do all the poses we call yoga? While we get ourselves twisted up in all sorts of knots It’s no coincidence there’s a pose called the ‘happy baby’.
We live in a stressful world, as do our kids, and while we find ways to cope with the day-to-day stresses, we often forget our children need tools to manage too. Yoga isn’t only good for a child to relax, it’s also an effective way to improve concentration and manage their emotions.
The key to getting to them to use it as part of their daily routine is to keep it simple and fun. And it’s an excellent way for you to get some exercise too.
5 Simple Yoga Exercises to Do with Your Kids
We move as we breathe when we do yoga. We stretch when we inhale and relax as we exhale. The sunrise (and sunset) pose is a good warm-up and warm-down.
The Sunrise pose is interesting for kids because it involves imitating the rising of the sun. You can make the pose more fun by describing it while you are doing it with your child. Use fun terms to explain the movements, making it appealing to kids of different ages.
Here's are the steps in doing the Sunrise pose:
- To do this stand up tall.
- Take three to five deep breaths and then as you inhale, lift your arms high above your head.
- Press your feet and legs down and stretch your spine and waist to the sky.
Some benefits of the Sunrise pose:
- This is an ideal warm-up pose for any kind of physical activity. This is because the Sunrise pose is easy and relaxed.
- It's a great pose for increasing your child's height. The reason for this is that it stretches out the different parts of the body. Through this pose, your child stretches his/her neck, back, upper body, thighs, calves and hamstring muscles.
It's important to note, though, that kids who have some physical issues should not do this pose. These issues include torn muscles, back problems, and other such physical concerns.
The Tree pose is ideal for children who have great balance. This is a good pose for balance and concentration. It's also ideal to help your child learn how to balance. For your child to do this pose well, ask them to focus on an object while in the Tree pose. This significantly lowers the chance of your child falling over. It's the best pose to teach your child self-control. It's a wonderful way to show them how strong they are and how focused they can be.
Explain these steps as you teach the Tree pose to your child:
- Stand up, breathe in, then out and feel your legs reach towards the ground like the roots of a tree. Feel your head reach to the sky, up, up, up, like the leaves growing towards the sun. Focus on something in front of you.
- Slowly lift your right leg by bending your knee. Keep your breathing even. Place your right leg on your left one, just above the knee, or just below it, depending on which is more comfortable. Your left leg must be strong, just like the trunk of a tree.
- Once you feel you’re balancing, stretch your arms up to the sky. Don’t worry if you fall over.
- Take a deep breath and start again.
Some benefits of the Tree pose:
- This pose helps boost the sense of balance as well as the strength of your child.
- It helps strengthen different parts of your child's body. These parts of the body are the leg muscles and the tendons and ligaments of your child's limbs.
- With this pose, your child's back gets stretched out. The sides of the upper body get stretched too, which aids in your child's growth.
As you describe how to do this pose, make sure to emphasize how strong and magnificent trees are. While doing this, also emphasize how your child has his/her own inner strength and focus.
The Fish pose is one of the most well-loved poses by kids of different ages. The reason for this is that it's fun to do. What the kids don't know is that it's extremely beneficial too. Doing this pose with your child will encourage him/her to do yoga more. Starting off with an easy pose is essential to keep young kids interested.
Here's how to do the Fish pose with your child:
- Make sure everyone is lying down on their back with their hands on their belly. Take a breath in and then breathe out slowly. While you do this point your toes and squeeze your legs together. Prop yourself up on your elbows with your hands facing down, flat on the floor.
- Lift your chest and belly. Don’t put any pressure on your neck - let it rest on the floor. Imagine you’re a fish jumping out of the water. Breath in slowly, and breathe out. Slowly come back down as you breathe out.
Some benefits of the Fish pose:
- It helps strengthen your child's upper back and neck muscles.
- Your child's body will be completely stretched with this pose. This helps him/her have an excellent posture.
- The Fish pose provides a deep stretch of the different parts of your child's body. Because of this, your child can breathe better and enjoy relief from spinal tension.
If your child suffers from neck and lower back problems, be careful when teaching this pose. Modify the pose if needed, so it won't make the problems worse.
Almost all kids love to fly - or at please pretend that they're flying. This is another fun pose. The Airplane is more enjoyable when made with the accompanying airplane sound effects. It can be challenging but learning it is engaging for kids.
Do the Airplane pose with your child by following these simple steps:
- Again stand up tall. Breathe in and reach your arms out to your sides. As you lift the shoulder height, breathe out.
- While you breathe in, lean forward slightly and point one foot behind you.
- Breathe out slowly. Inhale, lift your chest, lean forward while you lift the foot that is pointed in the air. Remember to keep your back and chest in line with the foot that is raised. Stretch your arms, keeping your balance and breathe in and out.
- Alternate legs.
Some benefits of the Airplane pose:
- Helps develop your child's concentration and balance.
- With this pose, your child will be more aware of his/her body. The challenging but engaging pose strengthens all the muscles of the body.
- It improves the posture, enhances calmness and encourages your child to do what he/she feels is right. This helps your child learn how to take "safe risks"
When practicing this pose, keep in mind that it's more challenging than the basic yoga poses for kids. Encourage your child throughout the process. Also, make the appropriate sounds to make the pose more enjoyable.
This is a fun pose for young and old. This pose looks simple, but it actually shows kids how to forward fold. It's useful for them to know how to do this properly as it's utilized for many other Yoga poses. The Gorilla pose entails your child assuming a forward bend while the legs are far apart. It's a relatively basic posture which can be modified to make it more enjoyable.
Read on to learn how to do the Gorilla pose:
- Stand with your legs wide apart and knees slightly bent. Ben forward at the waist. Your arms must hang down in front of you and you can swing your upper body backward and forwards.
- You can also just hang forward without any swinging.
- To keep it fun try a few different things. Try walk side to side and back and forth with big heavy feet, just like a gorilla.
- Take a big breath in and stand up straight. As you lean back beat your chest and make a big gorilla noise.
Some benefits of the Gorilla pose:
- This pose will calm your child down and put his/her mind at ease.
- It will help eliminate any back pain your child is feeling. It will also improve circulation in the wrists and hands.
- With this pose, your child's calves and hamstrings get stretched, strengthening and lengthening the muscles.
The Gorilla pose is great to do when you need your child to focus on the next activity. That's because it helps your child calm down. It clears the mind and relieves any mental stress your child feels.
Name that Yoga Pose Game
You can also make up games to reinforce the yoga poses you’ve shown your kids. For example, “duck, duck, goose, goose” takes on a whole new meaning. Instead of tapping them on the head and they give chase, ask them to name a yoga pose and do it. They choose the next person and the pose.
You can also play something similar to musical statues but instead of them freezing in just any position, they need to freeze in a yoga pose you call out. Both games are a fun way to remember what’s been learned and it’s a good way to get rid of pent-up energy for those who battle to focus too long on one thing.
There are educational toys available on the market to help teach your children yoga, from memory games to twister-like exercises. There’s even a yoga mat learning set that lets children practice the different poses. It combines other games too, like hopscotch, so kids can learn colors, shapes, and numbers at the same time.
The most important thing is to keep it fun. As long as they’re doing some exercise and focusing on their breathing, the rest will come in time, and with practice.